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Communion Meditations (2012)

From the Ends of the Earth

Originally scheduled for March 25

Psalm 61:1-4 TNIV  Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.

 (2)  From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

 (3)  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

 (4)  I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.


Have you ever felt far from God? It's a very lonesome feeling.

David, the psalmist, describes it well here. It's a time when your heart grows faint; you begin to lose courage. You reflect upon your own inadequacy and reach out for help, almost instinctively. It's wonderful if you get an instant reaction. Usually you don't. God allows you to sink to the point of asking him whether or not he's even listening. It doesn't matter where on earth you might happen to be, at home or far away. If God is not answering, you are at the ends of the earth. You are away from everything which is familiar, and the only real help you're likely to get.

One other curious aspects of the situation is that what you really want (at least to start with) is to be heard. It's extremely comforting to know that somebody is listening. Once you've established that God is listening to you, you then ask for directions. "What am I supposed to do now, God?" Have you ever uttered that thought aloud? If the situation is bad enough you will be asking for directions — to the nearest safe place. That's what David means by a refuge. In his time a strong tower was such a thing. A solidly built a tower was usually the cornerstone of a city's defense. So, in the language of his time, he was asking for a place of safety, a place where he could rest without fear.

You want to be heard. That's the first prerequisite. Communion is an assurance that you have been heard. It is the witness of God's love for you; it is also a way for you to reach out to God. How so? Remember that sin is the barrier between you and God, but he has prepared a path to deal with it. We are told that we are to examine ourselves before taking communion. Such self-examination should lead to repentance, and in this way clear the road between us and God. You will be heard.

Ah, but: if I'm heard, will God do anything? Oh you of little faith! If he was willing to go to the cross for your salvation, which of your threats and needs is too large for him? As Christ himself told us, "consider the lilies of the field." Have no fear, little flock. The father has chosen to give you the kingdom — and all the safety therein.

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